E•pis•to•lar•y: letter to Jean Vigo at Sheffield Doc/Fest

E•pis•to•lar•y: letter to Jean Vigo
Lynne Sachs  USA, Spain  2021  05min UK premiere  Rebellions



The film will be featured in the section Rebellions

The global pandemic of the past 15 months has shone a light on the unjust systems of power and rapacious forms of exploitation that define our contemporary world. With these inescapable revelations comes a clear and unambiguous need for rebellion. In an era that will be remembered both for an unimaginable force majeure, and a global reckoning with hierarchy and domination, mass movements and collective actions have been essential survival strategies, transmitted around the world largely through visual media. Widespread conversation about anti-Blackness, police violence, white supremacy and prison abolition, paired with crackdowns on protest in the name of public health, lead us to reframe contemporary resistance and historic struggles. The films in Rebellions illuminate cinema’s role in documenting – and tangibly contributing to – the myriad forms of resistance that continue to persist worldwide, pandemic or not.

Program: Let’s Start Again

Screening Info: Sun 6 June 20:45, Showroom Cinema 2, 1h 39min

Right now everyone could more or less agree that we could all use a new start: countries, societies, people. An impending American civil war and the assaults on the US Capitol make us finally ask the question: What if Women Ruled The World?

Civil War Surveillance Poems (Part 1)
by Mitch McCabe, USA, 2020, 15min
UK premiere 

The first iteration of a five-part feature film of speculative experimental nonfiction, which contemplates an impending American civil war via lyrical nonfiction, mixing call-in radio, twenty years of verité footage from the filmmaker’s archive, and robots. The film is partly a nostalgic political travelogue and partly a pre-war surveillance record, deconstructing our past, future and present political moment, with its clashing ideologies.

E•pis•to•lar•y: letter to Jean Vigo
by Lynne Sachs, USA, Spain, 2021, 05min
UK premiere

In a cinema letter to Jean Vigo, Lynne Sachs ponders the French filmmaker’s 1933 classic Zéro de conduite, in which school boys wage an anarchist rebellion against their authoritarian teachers. Thinking about the January 6, 2021 assault on the US Capiol by right-wing activists, Sachs wonders how both innocent play and calculated protest can quickly turn into chaos and violence.

Two Minutes to Midnight
by Yael Bartana, Germany, Netherlands, 2021, 48min
UK premiere 

Two Minutes to Midnight is the final stage of a four year transdisciplinary series by Yael Bartana. A group of actors gather on a stage. They are playing the all-female government of an imaginary nation. Together, they discuss the global emergencies of our male-dominated reality. The performance examines the impact that female-led governments would have on the way that international crises are resolved.

Sheffield Doc/Fest Q&A with Cintia Gil and Mitch McCabe